It's all in this big sundae - Kitchen Sink included
D.W. Anderson's Eatery and Ice Cream Parlor at the KeyLime Cove in Gurnee features a huge sundae with 24 scoops of ice cream served in an actual stainless steel sink.
The Lesson of KeyLime Cove: Food that comes to a table in a single container is not necessarily food for one person, even if it's ice cream.
Or for two people. Or all their friends.
I invited KeyLime's general manager, Dale McFarland, to one of the restaurants in the Gurnee indoor water park resort, assuming we could knock off its big ice cream sundae together.
A hint that we might fail should have been apparent in the sundae's name, the Kitchen Sink, in the fact that it actually comes in a real kitchen sink, and in its $59.95 price, an uncommon demand for any mortal serving of ice cream this side of Saudi Arabia.
It took two people to carry the loaded Neptune Hand Sink on its drain pipe, screwed into a thick wooden Lazy Susan pedestal. When placed on the table, the sink stuck up so high that my face could not be seen over the top.
Photographer Brian O'Mahoney stood by a moment while somebody from the KeyLime Cove marketing department found a 5-inch company policy book for me to sit on.
Neither McFarland nor I had ever eaten anything out of a sink before, and when the giant serving came, we both just laughed.
When you actually take a look at 24 big scoops of different flavors of Blue Bunny ice cream rising out of a 6-inch-deep sink, you realize the absurdity of it all.
"No way," McFarland said.
The sink contained about 5,000 calories before the 3-inch blanket of whipped cream was added, and before an ice cream sandwich and a toffee-coated ice cream bar were stuck into the sundae like tombstones. And before eight dishes of various mix-ins, sauces, nuts and other toppings served on the side were employed, either.
The ice cream was delicious, especially when decorated with strawberry compote, crushed pineapple or chocolate gravy. And it's a minor thrill to have as many maraschino cherries as you want.
But if you're over 12, this probably doesn't work for you.
McFarland and I each ate a bowl of ice cream and then just sat around talking the hospitality business while a procession of executives and marketers strolled through D.W. Anderson's Eatery & Ice Cream Parlor and ladled out bowls of ice cream. There was still plenty left behind.
The Kitchen Sink is a family thing. They're big with birthday parties in the multi-level, 257-seat restaurant in the water park at 1700 Nations Drive.
"And we get more orders, because the kids go nuts when they see it go by with the sparklers going off," said sous chef Jeff Nickerson, referring to the fireworks tucked into the ice cream by servers.
Is it even possible for one person to make a dent in The Kitchen Sink? I called Ed "Haystacks" Ross, the former pro wrestler and featured eater in the first Mega Bites last June, in which he made an enormous hamburger at The Little Island in Evanston disappear in the blink of an eye.
I considered Ross the right 6-foot-7, 430-pound guy to ask whether the Kitchen Sink was doable. He once put away a steak and potatoes dinner built around a 64-ounce sirloin in 11 minutes 40 seconds and then ordered an ice cream sundae just to show off.
He wouldn't want to take a shot at D.W. Anderson's washstand.
"I don't like ice cream that much," he said. "And 24 scoops is just craziness."